Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Arizona Republicans protect guns, not people


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Democratic senators released the following statements on the signing of HB2455, which requires law enforcement agencies to sell unclaimed or forfeited firearms.

Senator Linda Lopez (District 2), Assistant Democratic Leader:

“Over the past few years we have witnessed a steady stream of tragic gun violence in America, including the shooting in Tucson that killed six Arizonans and wounded 13 others. The horror of Sandy Hook has finally sparked a national discussion on sensible ways to decrease gun violence and keep our communities safe,” said Sen. Lopez.

“Here in Arizona, Republicans swiftly moved into action as well. Unfortunately their reaction was not to protect the people of Arizona from guns, but to protect guns from the people of Arizona.”

Senator Steve Gallardo (District 29):

“This bill is classic overreach by Republican legislators. It takes away local control by prohibiting local law enforcement from destroying guns in their possession, even if a gun was willingly turned in by the owner. This is on top of a law passed last year forcing guns used in violent crimes to be put back on the streets,” said Sen. Gallardo.

Senator Steve Farley (District 9):

“Imagine this scenario: If a teenager commits suicide with a gun, under this bill their grieving family would have to choose between taking that gun back home or giving it up with the knowledge that it would soon be in a display case of a local gun store,” said Sen. Farley.

“This bill takes away that family’s right to destroy their own property as a means of finding closure.”

Senator David Bradley (District 10):

“Republicans are tone deaf to all but the NRA on this issue and completely out of touch with the people of Arizona. A poll released just yesterday shows that 70% of Arizonans support universal background checks,” said Sen. Bradley.

“The sad truth is this: right now it's safer to be a gun in Arizona than a child.”

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Republican senators refuse texting while driving ban


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Steve Farley released the following statement after his proposed floor amendment to HB 2312, which would ban texting while driving, failed along party lines.

Sen. Farley
“I have been working for six years to pass common-sense legislation to ban texting while driving and during that time I’ve heard from families across the state whose loved ones have been seriously injured or killed by texting drivers,” said Sen. Farley. "Forty four other states now ban this dangerous practice. Why can't Republicans and Democrats come together on this issue in Arizona?"

“Despite innocent people dying on the roads and endless studies underscoring the dangers of texting while driving, the ban, SB1218, has been ignored this session and now this amendment has been refused by the Republican majority, tragically politicizing a non-partisan issue. For no good reason, lives of Arizona motorists will continue to be at risk because the Legislature refuses to allow law enforcement to stop irresponsible drivers from looking at their phones instead of the road.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tea Party Republicans work hard to protect guns, not people


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, the Arizona Senate passed HB 2455 to prohibit law enforcement agencies from destroying a firearm and requiring the agencies to sell unclaimed firearms in its possession. This bill comes after a law by Republicans last year that sets the same requirement for any firearm associated with felony crimes – even murder. Floor discussion on this bill and amendments proposed by Democratic senators was cut off prematurely by Republicans.

Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Linda Lopez, D-2:

“Our state and our nation have witnessed horrific gun violence over the past few years, prompting a national discussion on gun safety and anti-violence legislation. But here in Arizona, the response of Tea Party Republicans has been to require that there be as many guns on the streets as possible and shutting down any legislation aimed at increasing safety in our communities or helping the mentally ill,” said Sen. Lopez.

“This bill bans forfeited guns from being destroyed, even if a gun owner voluntarily turns in a weapon as part of a buyback program. Tea Party Republicans at the Legislature appear to be more concerned with the lifespan of guns than the lifespan of Arizonans.”

Democratic Leader Leah Landrum Taylor, D-27:

“The amendments to HB 2455 brought by Democratic senators addressed the many problems related to gun violence, including protecting domestic violence victims,” said Sen. Landrum Taylor.

“By shutting down discussion on these issues, Senate Republicans brought the motion to the floor broke our chamber’s rules of decorum and showed disdain for issues that are important to Arizona families. This was a disservice to both the victims of gun violence and to the people of Arizona who elect us to represent them at the Legislature.”